Report: Gilbert Melendez Says UFC is “Where I Wanted to Be”
By FCF Staff
Gilbert Melendez may have been excited about the prospect of heading to Bellator, but the renowned lightweight says his intention was to remain with the Ultimate Fighting Championship all along.
After Bellator reached an agreement with the free agent fighter recently, the UFC announced late Sunday that it has resigned Melendez and that further, he will coach opposite Anthony Pettis on TUF 20. As a result, Melendez will challenge the lightweight champion later this year, after TUF 20 concludes.
While the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, clearly the UFC stepped up its offer in an effort to match and surpass the one that was tabled by Bellator.
In a follow up interview with FOX Sports, here is some of what Melendez had to say about remaining with the UFC.
“The UFC is the biggest stage in the world, they have the best fighters in the world and the toughest lightweight division in the world. It’s the Mecca for MMA, no doubt in my mind. Bellator’s a great organization as well, but this is where I wanted to be. There’s no other place I wanted to be.”
Melendez (22-3), who narrowly lost by split decision to then lightweight champ Benson Henderson last April, is coming off a decision win over Diego Sanchez. The #2 ranked lightweight also noted that fighting Pettis will make for an “interesting match-up.”